The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette front-paged a very good story 11/24 headlined "Robot callers might buzz off" about pending state legislation to add political robocalls to Pennsylvania's Do Not Call list, but buried on page A-15 the story of what might very well be the dirtiest robocall of the 2006 campaign.
More... well, on page A-15.
The story, written by Tom Barnes, goes into mostly excellent detail about how robocalls were abused (though of course, it leaves out the fact that they were abused almost exclusively by Republicans) but one example reported struck me as particularly manipulative and nasty.
Read this, and let me know if you heard of a dirtier robocall used in this cycle:
Mr. McGeehan admitted he himself has used robo-calls a couple times in the past, politely asking constituents to vote for him. But he said the just-ended election cycle set new records for obnoxious computerized calls.
The ugliest robo-call he knows of contained the voice of an unidentified woman sobbing and talking about an unfortunate, abortion-related experience she claimed she'd had at a women's health clinic founded 20 years ago by Allyson Schwartz, a Democratic congresswoman from Philadelphia who was seeking (and won) re-election Nov. 7. The clinic is no longer in business.
The first thought for most people who pick up a phone and hear a woman crying is probably that one of their family members is in trouble, which could cause them to panic, Mr. McGeehan said.
"Dirty trickery is increasing in the robo-call business,'' he said.